A reader asked about the recent history of this place and I’ll admit that my memory of the subject has faded. 96 acres, owned by a Borden heir until 1925 when Bernard Gimbel bought the place. My old law firm represented Mr. Gimbel and, as a young associate, I’d be dispatched there occasionally with documents requiring his signature. I never met the gentleman himself but I’m told he was very nice – certainly his property was. It was chopped into something like 17 lots in, maybe, 1990 and the first houses went for sale around then (if Greenwich Time had searchable archives you could follow Casey Stengel’s advice and look it up – there was a long, protracted zoning battle over development plans, all dutifully reported on by that paper). Prices have climbed a bit over the years, from mid-$2s to, by 1998, as high as mid-3s. Judging from today’s price reduction on 20 Chieftan Road, those prices may be returning to earth.
Another reader asked, “why would anyone want to live here?” I don’t know – it’s close to the Merritt Parkway and Westchester Airport, which might be considered a convenience, and it does have a guarded gatehouse – whether that speaks to necessity or simply the owners’ desire for privacy is a matter of which I have no knowledge (“up with which I will not put!”). There’s an association that takes care of all grounds keeping and such so, if someone just wanted a place to stay while making a brief visit to Greenwich, this could work.
From the comments section to the original post comes this far more knowledgeable history:
Chieftans – Alva Gimble created a beautiful spot.
The original developer died before beginning his project. John Ferari took it over.
John Ferari built good houses but there were some screwy sales, especially at the beginning of the sales effort (10 plus years ago?).Ex – Famous baseball player custom finished a unit and sold it before moving in. His buyer paid an extremely inflated price. Hard to generalize about prices – lot and house sizes vary, some have over an acre and pools, others don’t.
I think sales had followed the market until the collapse. One of Greenwich’s highest earning Realtors sold many of the houses at Chieftans, some more than once.
Plusses – Beautiful setting – acres of conservation land – gated, with excellent security if that’s your thing. Residents are interesting group, with some under the radar “biggies”. Convenience of Westchester Airport if you fly corporate, close to B’wick & Sacred Heart, and the Merritt, without Merritt noise.
Airport,though the bigger houses backing up to Sherwood aren’t as affected. Who knows, with all the new FAA changes, we all may be buying earplugs.
Glenville isn’t the golden triangle or circle, or any other golden shape, so those Wickie moms may have a problem.
A few years ago there was a great house on the market, right at the beginning of the drive. It was beautifully decorated, tasteful, warm. Fantastic views over the trees, and the sellers read books! There were real tomes on the library shelves, and books on tables-that were being read! Didn’t see too much of that when touring open houses back in the day.
And still another update:
Highest price paid at Chieftans might have been (records are spotty) $6 million + back before 2000. At least a 2002 listing for #8 Chieftans, when it was priced at $4.3 claimed that the seller “originally paid more than $2 million over this price”. It does appear for sale for $5.750 back in 2000 and four brokers and three years later, sold for exactly $4 million. So did someone overpay in the sixes in 1999, realize he’d been a chump and try to salvage what he could a year later? I don’t know – ask his agent, Tamar Laurie.